After a couple of weeks of heatwave weather, with no end in sight, tarmac has started to melt! We heard news of tarmac melting on the M25 yesterday, due to the heat and heavy traffic. So how hot does it have to be for roads to melt? Dr Howard Robinson, chief executive of the Road Surface Treatments Association, says most roads in the UK that experience a reasonable amount of traffic will start softening at 50C.
With temperatures in the UK only into the 30s celsius, that might not sound like much of a problem. But those temperatures are typically measured in the shade, and anything up to 2m above the ground. The temperature in direct sunlight on the ground can be much higher. And dark road material can absorb a lot of heat. The typical summer ground temperature is higher than air temperature. Robinson says roads “regularly” reach a temperature of 50C and above.
So when you’re out and about this summer beware of melting roads! Especially on trips on the motorways.
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